Sitting at the kitchen table working on my laptop after the children’s bedtime routines had been completed and the dinner plates cleared away, I put music on to play as I always do in the evenings, whether to help me concentrate on the task at hand, or provide a soothing backdrop to more relaxing pursuits. One of the first songs to play on my ‘Favourites’ playlist was Suzanne Vega’s ‘Gypsy’, which made me pause and lift my head from my work to listen to the lyrics. When it had finished I played it again, and then a third time, simply letting the emotions it evokes wash over me. The chorus stirs feelings and memories deep within – a craving to be held, cradled, and comforted when I feel the sorrow of those I’ve lost or will lose to death or distance.

A little while later I thought to myself, ‘Didn’t I mention this song in a blog post once?’ So I jumped on my much-neglected blog, did a quick search, and promptly found a post from October 2011, and extract from which is as follows:

“There is a chorus in a Suzanne Vega song called ‘Gypsy’ that has echoed ‘round and ‘round my head many times over the past months, making my voice catch with tears time and again and I softly whisper along:

“Oh, hold me like a baby

That will not fall asleep

Curl me up inside you

And let me hear you through the heat”

The soothing melody and rich voice, as much as the words, evoke within me a sense of generations of mothers before me rocking their babies to sleep, as my mother did me, and I have my children… an image of physical comfort that speaks to my earliest memories, and the depth of my loss.”

It is quite startling sometimes to have this record to go back to and read over again. It provides many things, including a reminder of where some of my current reactions may, in part, stem from, and a yard-stick on which to measure how these responses may have changed in the intervening years. The loss of my mother was so intense at the point at which I wrote my previous post, and while memories of her were certainly wound into my thoughts tonight, the general sorrow I was feeling was broader in scope, including the past, impending and potential losses of lovers, friends, and family.

So, as I was reflecting on this, it seemed appropriate to return again to the place I created to articulate and share my reflections, and continue to leave myself a trail of crumbs back to my past thoughts for whenever I might wish to follow them.


7 thoughts on “Echoes

  1. There are many songs that bring reminders of my mom. The words in “Do What You Have To Do” by Sarah McLachlan really hit me after my mom’s death…”but I have the sense to recognize that I don’t know how to let you go.” These words were most likely intended for another reason in the song, but for me, they spoke of my mom and how I felt after her death. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Sorry for taking such an inordinately long time to reply! I have finally look up the song on YouTube – beautiful, thank you, and I can see how it can have affected you so. I often think it’s what speaks to us in a song that is important, rather than just the ‘intention’ of its creator.

  2. I was just looking back at my blog, and I thought of you and yours, and I felt the pain in between my chest and stomach…. a smaller wedge of the old grief pain. I hate admitting that I don’t feel that exact pain very intensely or consistently the way I used to when we “met”.

    In direct respons to THIS post, I will say (a) I’m so glad you’re still blogging and (b) I had a good therapist once who said that life and memory are like traveling up or down (it doesn’t matter which) a spiral staircase. We can look over the railing into the middle at the same object (event in our memory) but we’re always viewing it from a different step, a different and new perspective.

    Sending you fond thoughts.

    1. Ah Ruth, how lovely to hear from you, and apologies for my tardy response! I just followed the link to your new blog, and saw your post on gratitude, which made me smile as I only came back on here after months away to post of list of things I am grateful for today. Synchronicity. I had forgotten about your lovely lists!

      I have been pondering recently my love for spirals, so your mention of a spiral staircase brought a further smile to to my lips.

      I’ve really missed you.

  3. I’m compelled to add that I still do feel the pain, though–just differently. I’m grateful for the feelings — even the ones that hurt. At times it seems like that’s all that’s left.

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